Secondary Cockpit Barrier Now Required on New Commercial Aircraft

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The FAA now requires all new commercial aircraft to have secondary barriers on the flight deck to keep the aircraft, crew and passengers safe.

In response to the September 11, 2001 hijacking, the first lockable cockpit door was installed. The final rule requires the installation of additional barriers to prevent cockpit intrusion when the cockpit doors are open.

The Biden administration has made this requirement a priority for 2021. In 2022, the FAA propose rules After seeking advice from aircraft manufacturers and labor partners. The rule complies with the requirements of the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement: “Every day, pilots and crews safely transport millions of Americans — and today we are taking another important step to ensure they get the life they deserve. Protect.”

Under the rule, aircraft manufacturers must install a physical secondary barrier (IPSB) on commercial aircraft produced after the rule takes effect.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, IPSB will be closed and locked Whenever the aircraft opens the cockpit door in flight. This final rule affects operators of transport category aircraft operating in the United States pursuant to Part 121 of Title 14 CFR, which carry passengers.

The NPRM states, “When the cockpit door must be opened for toilet breaks, meal service, or crew changes, the cockpit may be vulnerable to attack. This rule requires the installation and use of IPSBs on aircraft in Part 121 service, with the benefit of Such attacks can be slowed long enough to close and lock open cockpit doors before the attacker reaches the cockpit.”

Aircraft operators must comply when operating transport category aircraft manufactured two years after the effective date of this final rule.

The IPSB’s NPRM was published last summer. The FAA received 51 supportive comments from industry stakeholders including American Airlines, American Flight Attendant-Communication Workers Association, Aerospace Industries Association, Federation of Airline Pilots Associations, International Coordinating Committee of Aerospace Industries Associations- The Cabin Safety Task Force, the Civil Aviation Authority of Japan, the Regional Airlines Association (RAA), the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, Transport Canada, the Department of Transportation Industry, United Airlines, and aircraft manufacturers Airbus, Boeing and Embraer.

The Airline Pilots Association issued a statement applauding the FAA for finally passing the rule.

“Twenty-two years ago this September, terrorists used airliners to kill nearly 3,000 of our fellow Americans, shattering our sense of security,” said ALPA Chairman Captain Jason Ambrosi. “We responded decisively to these attacks and took several steps to prevent such tragedies from happening again, but until now no action has been taken to install a secondary cockpit door barrier. I commend FAA Acting Administrator Polly Trottenberg for years of unnecessary Act after delay to implement this life-saving measure.”

ALPA, the world’s largest union of airline pilots with more than 74,000 pilots across 42 U.S. and Canadian airlines, has been a strong supporter of these lightweight safety devices, which have proven effective in creating physical barricades to help prevent hostilities Personnel access to the deck of the flight with the door open during flight.

“With today’s action to address the installation of secondary barriers on newly manufactured aircraft, we must redouble our efforts to pass the Sarasini Enhanced Aviation Security Act (HR 911/S. Install major barriers on cargo planes,” Ambrosi said. “Because ensuring that no terrorist — whether domestic or international — ever breaks into the cockpit door of another aircraft should be one of the highest security priorities in this country.”

The FAA estimates the IPSB to cost $35,000 to purchase and install.

Trottenberg signed the final rule on Wednesday. Published documents may contain minor changes due to formatting and editorial requirements, and abstracts will not go live until published.

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